What are hops?

What are hops?  You hear about them all the time in the world of beer.  You hear about beers that have double the hops.  There are even tripple hop beers now too.  It’s one of the basic ingredients of beer, but it seems that everyone assumes that you know what a hop is.

Hops are actually the female flower cluster from a hops species called the Humulus lupulus (wow don’t I sound smart).  They are a climbing plant.  Farmers train the plant to grow up strings to provide them with more sunlight.  This allows them to grow easier and stronger.

Hops are used in beer to provide the bitter flavor that we have all come to love.  This bitter flavor is use to counteract the sweet/malty flavor that comes from the barely.  While some beers use undried or “wet” hops, the majority of hops are dried out before they are added in the brewing process.

Hops have many other uses other than beer…but this is theBeerean.com.  So we don’t care. If you want to learn more than anyone would care to want to know about hops, check out this wikipedia article. Otherwise that is the basics of hops and beer.

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